tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Song of Roland Ch. 18

The Song of Roland Ch. 18


"Something's wrong." Kelsea said, as if Roland were not already aware of such a self-evident fact.

The statement itself was ridiculous: he was locked in the death grip of a being made of pure lust, spooning to her devilish curves as his hand trailed across her bare, purple stomach. He had given in, laying his life in the unholy clutches of the one breed of creature he had sworn to slay without mercy. The man who had dedicated himself to hunting all the monsters who dwelled within the darkness had surrendered his soul for the sake of a Demon's smile.

And now here they lay: a pair of vagrants in a town of zealots under siege, a mere accusatory outcry removed from merciless death. Their only 'true' allies were a half-wild animal and a man, who in any sane state of mind and circumstances would be actively trying to kill them both. Of course something was wrong; it was hard for Roland to picture what else could go wrong, short of the two of them burning at the stake.

He said none of these things, of course. Words were not his way, though by now Kelsea had the sway to coax all but the darkest phantoms of his mind to his lips, if only she had the will to ask. Thank the Gods she did not know she had such power. Roland was like a besieged castle in the night: the gates lifted, with his drawbridge lowered and the walls empty of men, yet the sieging army blissfully slept on unaware.

"What do you mean?" He said instead, feeling the warmth of her body upon his naked skin. Her tail ran up his side, scratching gently at the base of his back as she idly exchanged physical caresses with him.

"My body is..." She seemed unable to bring it into words. Her spine bent backwards as she leaned herself flush against him, smoothing out the distance so they were one and the same on the straw bed. "I don't feel satisfied, Roland."

The mercenary shrugged in her grasp, unperturbed. As he stroked her form, his index finger gently probed her bellybutton; her skin was a burning cauldron of heat. "Sorry to hear. I'll pull your hair more next time."

Kelsea didn't laugh. In the mercurial light of the rudimentary hut she was but a dark shadow to him, a figure of heavy shade. "That's not what I mean. I-" She turned her head, the corner of her eye matching his as he heard the worry enter her voice. "You didn't... 'fill' me, with your fluid. It's like I haven't fed; I'm just as ravenous as I was this morning."

Roland's hand moved up to her breast, casually cupping one of the ample orbs within his hand as he idly toyed with her erect nipple. "That's a poor excuse for wanting another go; you could just ask." Or demand. He mentally added.

"I'm not joking, Roland." Her voice was dead, empty of emotion, like she'd had all the hue pulled free from her honeyed words. "I can't feel you."

"You're numb?" He asked, her silken hair brushed across his cheek. He knew what Kelsea meant, but was as yet unwilling to leave this opaque daydream that had so confounded him. Despite being sated, and soft of loin, he could not stop touching her. Roland remembered the sight of conflicting colors furrowing across her face; his hand touched the curve of her cheek. "Is it the...?" He felt a desire build within his waking mind, one that did not seem to come wholly from himself.

"No," Kelsea said, "not physically, at least." Her arm reached back to touch his bicep, her fingers trailing across the length of his arm. "But something's changed. I can't feel your heartbeat, anymore."

"Good." He lied, pulling her even tighter against him. "You can feel me just fine, this way." That strange desire built again: Roland wanted to sink into her, to dissolve within the Succubus' consciousness. He wished for nothing less than to drift away, and let all the cares within him dissipate, so that naught but her own warmth remained. It was an odd wish, a dubious smog of thought that obscured his logic with its hollow desire. He did not know where the abnormal urge had come from.

"Gods!" She said, turning around to face him. He felt her breath on his chest, along his neckline as she looked up at him. Her hands went about his cheeks, cupping him with their warmth. "Just listen to me, Roland!" Kelsea looked despairing, her red-rimmed eyes wide and frantic. "I'm not feeding; I-I can't feel you! Shouldn't that... doesn't it bother you?"

"Of course it 'bothers' me, Kelsea." Roland replied, looking in surprise at her queer expression, "What's wrong? You're getting-"

"I'm scared, Roland!" She said, her voice rising to a fever pitch far outside of reasonable exclamation. "I don't want to lose you!"

He balked at her blatant hyperbole. "What are you talking about, Kelsea?" She looked up at him, her eyes watering as her lower lip quivered. Roland didn't understand where this sudden despondency was coming from.

She kissed him hard, biting suddenly at his lip with frenzied nips. He felt her draw blood, skinning the inner half of his mouth. "Ow!" He grimaced, pulling back as she held on with her teeth, "Gods woman, have a care for my body!" She ignored him, pulling back from his face and leaning low into his chest. She took his nipple in her lip, biting down on it as well, bending her neck into the action. Roland jerked back from her, his arms going about her shoulders. "Kelsea!" He shouted. She ignored him, licking around the bitten appendage, lapping up his chestline before adding a manic, purple bruise to his neck. She sucked at him with the eagerness of a starving vampire, gnashing at his neck. With gritted teeth Roland forcefully shoved her off of him, pulling up and sitting back upon the bed, against the wall.

She got onto her knees, curling her thrashing tail about herself like a cat in the fit of a frenetic craze. Roland's eyes matched with her own, reddish hue. He could see pinpricks of blood vessels beginning to flood into the whites. There was something unnatural in how she looked, her face angular and avaricious. She glared at him with burning pupils from beneath her brow. "You make me ache, Roland. I want you to mate with me. To fuck me," She sounded almost bestial as she began to growl at him. "I want you to take me; like a man."

"I already 'took' you! The fuck is wrong with you, right now?" She possessed the open side of the bed, her curvaceous form blocking a swift exit from the hovel. She extended her legs wide with her knees, both to box him out of any easy escape, as well as to display her still-dripping sex. She grinned at him in a way that was not like Kelsea. A tug began to pull again at his clarity.

"Come on, Roland: do it! Fuck me! Rape me! Make me scream so loud, that the whole world knows you've violated me!" She giggled like a madman who had heard a forbidden secret. "I'll be your little wench! I'll be your busty whore!" Roland shrank back from her overpowering presence. What was this thing, that wore a woman's face? "Break my arm! Snap my bones and tie me up, like you said you'd do at the tavern!" She groaned and stuck a finger in her mouth, pulling it out slowly as she displayed her tongue, curled around it. She bit her own finger, drawing blood. "Make me cry like a peasant girl, being deflowered by a barbarian!"

She was terrifying. Her eyes were unblinking, wolfish and gluttonous. She cackled as if, instead of silence, he'd responded eagerly to her: agreeing, providing her with newer and more lurid ideas. "Mmmh! Can you imagine it? Me, being taken like a beast by you as you feed me forever. That lovely cum; that delicious, ivory liquid!" Her hand reached forward in a rush, taking his flaccid penis in her fingers as she tried to fitfully jerk him to hardness. He was supremely lucky that he had just had sex, else her mad words might have swayed him more than they were already doing. Even her voice seemed to strain and deepen, growing a malicious tone, sweeping away the subtle tenor of her femininity. Her vocalization lost its gender, becoming something altogether more monstrous and assertive. "I want you, Roland. You're mine... give yourself to me!" She pressed forward, her eyes wide as a haze seemed to settle on her senses. A ripple of pinkish color blew like a breeze across her face.

Roland grabbed the wrist of the hand that was touching him, his hands closing about her iron grip with the strength of a man in utter desperation. "Kelsea." He said, fighting with the last shreds of his will against her dominating presence. This was beyond even her previous manipulation. "Let go of me."

She ignored him, leaning forward as that same, psychotic smile grew and grew upon her face. It stretched across her cheeks like a butcher's cut, till he could see every tooth and fang within her jawline exposed. She didn't even look like herself anymore. Kelsea looked... hellish. Demonic.

She struggled to maintain some form of allure, but beneath the faux aspirations of affection there was something darker lurking."T-think of what our..." She shook her head from side to side, her hair trailing down her face as she peered at him from between the silky, black locks. "What o-our children would look like! Such beautiful babies. They'd have... they'd-" She grabbed his arm, squeezing hard against the solid muscle, so tight Roland felt a nerve pinch. He couldn't shake her grip. "H-have your... your brawn and my-"

She stopped. A stillness fell between them like sudden, cleansing snowfall. A benighted frown grew upon her face, as she seemed to be at a loss as to what she could herself contribute to the situation. "My..." She trailed off, her neck turning as she short-circuited. One of her lower eyelids twitched as her pupils dilated like dinner plates. Her mouth gaped as she found herself at a loss for words. "My..." She whispered.

Roland felt the abrupt loosening of her grip upon his wrist. He peeled free from her, his limb withdrawing from boneless fingers as he ripped her off of his throbbing arm. Roland grasped the wounded thing, massaging his bicep as he stared in fear at the woman who sat between him and freedom. Kelsea paid him no mind, her shoulders slumping as she stared at her shaking hands. "My- my- my-" She babbled incessantly. "W-what would I...?"

Roland observed her delusions, watching as her body twisted in place. Still more ripples of color moved across her form, staining her nakedness for a moment with more human characteristics before returning to their Demonic proportions. It wasn't as bad as the last fit, but the aftershocks were still debilitating. She looked up at him, seeming to see him, but not recognize who he was. She spoke as though he was involved in whatever inner madness had seized her. "W-what..." She said, a trail of tears building up and falling from her face. Kelsea's expression was that of confusion and despair. "What should I tell him?"

Goddamn you. Roland wanted to yell. Gods smite you for being this way. Everything always devolved to nothing between them. Any sign of progress seemed eternally stymied by their own afflictions. What should she tell him? What should she tell him?! What could she even say, at this point? What words would convey what she meant to him, or the gaping agony it was to see her this way?

"There's nothing to say." He said.

"That's stupid." She said, "I can't... I can't just say nothing! He'll..." She frowned still worse, drooping like a dying daylily atop the covers. A heavy sweat was upon her. Even from this distance, and with the cold wind blowing through the door Roland could feel the inhuman heat that arose upon her skin, more smouldering than usual. As if a bear trap were being sprung, her face turned in on itself, her expression twisting into sudden, abject despair. She let loose a horrible sob, her hand moving up to cover her face as her other steadied herself atop the bed. "Stupid!" She said, smacking her fist atop her leg. She bruised it.

Another wave of color blasted across her chest, and she doubled over, wheezing. Her arms went about her sides, as though she'd been kicked in the ribs. Roland leapt to her, his lucidity fading as the exemplar of his neurosis fell face-first atop the bed. "Kelsea!" He said, shaking her, turning her in his arms as she blinked rapidly. Her chest rose and fell as she slowly regained the ability to inhale. She let out a haggard sigh and shook her head. Her pupils were still dilated black pits that sucked out her sense of place and self. It was a deep feeling of helplessness that tinted Roland's worried voice as he tried to speak platitudes to her. "Just... just breathe, yeah?" He didn't even know what to say. "Keep your-" He trailed off, seeing the thousand-yard stare she had acquired. Her horn dug into his side, but the big man ignored it.

He held on to her, cradling her body in his as her tail lifted and lowered itself weakly atop the bed. Through luck or providence, no more discolorations occurred, but she was enfeebled by the traumatic reaction. Slowly, painfully slowly, her breathing steadied. Her eyes closed as if in slow motion, then opened with an equal torpidity. At last he saw her pupils return to normal size, the red lines in her whites retreat as she regained some semblance of her will again.

"I..." Kelsea whispered, but Roland touched her lips.

"Shh, Succubus." He said. "Catch your breath."

She did, looking at him the whole time. Gone was the lustful mania, the bipolar melancholy. She was Kelsea again. "I'm going crazy, Roland."

"Naw." He murmured, stroking her hair. "Nothing so grim as that; you're just dying is all." Despite her clear fear, she beamed a weak smile at him, the wetness of her cheeks mixing with her unintended mirth. Roland hoped she didn't feel the fearful shake of his spine as he looked at her. He doubted he was all that convincing.

"Small blessings, 'yeah?'" She replied. He let out a half-chuckle.

There was a sharp knock at the hovel door. The two looked up. Kelsea glanced up at him, fear in her eyes. "Get under the covers." He said, his voice low and harsh. "Try to change to normal, if you can." Roland disentangled himself from her body, standing up and striding across the room in three steps. Kelsea lifted the covers over her head like an embarrassed bride at her wedding night, becoming little more than a lump beneath a layer of thin, papery blanket.

Roland opened the door, only realizing that he was still naked as the thing creaked wide and Carl made to step inside. The tall man's eyes were immediately drawn downward. "Eugh!" He said, stepping back. "May the Gods rip off your cock and feed it to a Demon! What the fuck Roland?"

"Carl." Roland said, feeling only the slightest shade of embarrassment at flashing his onetime friend. "What's happening? Where's the Priest?"

"The same place as your dignity, you limp-dicked arse." Carl said, shielding his eyes with the sheathed sword he had clutched in his hand.

Roland let a bemused smile grow upon his face. "Good to know you were lookin' southward. My eyes are up here."

Carl shoved the sword into his arms, stepping back from the doorway with a disgusted look as he tossed a smaller, shorter weapon at his feet. "Here. Sword and a dagger for you. The corpse-pastor said he'd like a word with you before the churches finish their prayers in the Inner Cloister."

"Hm." Roland said, pulling the blade free from its scabbard just far enough to drag a finger along the edge; the blood on the fingertip told him it was sharp, if somewhat crude of construction. He slammed the thing back into its casing before bending down to pick up the dagger, a tapering, pinprick-pointed rondel so slim it looked almost needlelike. His mouth turned in distaste at its slightness. "What's he want me, for?"

Carl tipped his head towards the creature lying hunkered beneath the covers. "No idea." He said, his voice flat. The mercenary's green eyes locked hard with Roland's, pulling down into a sharp scowl. Roland blew air from his mouth.

"Arright. I'll get dressed. Half a moment." He began to shut the door, but Carl planted a foot in the crack, blocking his path.

"Not so fast, Roland." Carl said. "I want to see her."

The red-maned man set a glare upon his brow. "Not now." He said, a note of undue harshness in his voice. "She needs to rest."

Carl laughed in his face. "Is that why you're naked, Roland? Or are you just a gluttonous gab too timid to say you were fucking her." He stepped up to the larger man. "Let me in. I've got as much a right to her as you, at this point."

Roland's eyes flashed. "You... " He reached forward, dropping the weapons to the ground in a fit of rage as he grasped at Carl's narrow shoulders. He shoved him against the wall, holding tight as he felt murder build in his heart. A dark and jealous notion blazed through his brain as he stared at this... competitor. The only thing that stopped him from striking Carl was the sound of Kelsea's voice from behind.

"Roland, stop." She sat up on the bed, a fatigued effigy of infernal perfection. "He can enter."

Roland stared at Carl for another hard second before he drew back. Carl brushed off the naked man's hands, wiping at his chest as it to clear himself from the imagined grime he'd left behind. "I suppose I should be thankful you didn't get a hard-on from handling me, aye?" He said with a smirk. "Glad to see your misguided gallantry isn't dead." Roland didn't answer, cursing to himself as he moved to retrieve his damaged clothing strewn across the floor. "Hold a moment." Carl said, pulling something out from his pack. "Gotcha some new linens." He displayed a grey woolcloth blouse, with puffed sleeves tied at the top. He also drew forth a folded leather overcoat, black and drooping at the sides, like the tail of a platypus on each leg.

"What's this," Roland said, eying the two additions to his attire with a guarded eye, "Some fop's costume?"

Carl's smirk deepened. "It's for staying warm, I even picked out your size for them; you're just being ungrateful to our hosts. Besides, these are better than that shredded doublet the Hautviech ruined."

"If I don't want to swing a sword, sure." Roland said, ripping the fabrics from his hands and stalking over to his discarded pants. "First time I have to turn to the side, the flaps will trip me up."

"-Then ask for something else when you talk to the Priest." Carl said, walking over to Kelsea. "I don't care either way."

They matched eyes, Kelsea lying naked upon the bed with Carl looking down at her. Roland began to dress himself, pulling up his trousers and lacing his boots as he observed the two. His eyes strayed towards the sword lying in the dirt near the doorway, all the while.

"Not too stricken to shag a slave, eh?" He said, planting his hand with brazen alacrity atop her sternum. There was a ruffling of her personage. "So long as it's the right one, I should say. You were eager enough when it was just you and me, Succubus."

Kelsea grimaced. She shot an anxious glance in Roland's direction, but his back was turned to them as he dressed himself. "What do you want, Carl?"

"You know what I want, Succubus." He said, his hand going to the same breast that Roland had been fondling just a few minutes before. He squeezed tight against the orb, his fingers gripping the spongy material with a harsh possessiveness. "The only thing you've yet offered me."

"I've got a sword for your belly, you cunt." Roland snapped. "Would that be an offering more to your liking?" He was amped, his muscles flexing as he threw on his clothing in mordant movements. It had been one thing to know that Carl had taken her in a moment of great need, it was quite another to stand there and be privy to his naked lust.

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